A Syrian Kurdish militia member of YPG patrols near a Turkish army tank as Turks work to build a new Ottoman tomb in the background in Esme village in Aleppo province, Syria, Sunday, Feb. 22, 2015. (AP Photo/Mursel Coban, Depo Photos)
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Turkish forces swept into Syria overnight to rescue about 40 soldiers who had been surrounded for months by ISIS militants while guarding the tomb of a revered Turkish figure.The action, which involved tanks, drones and reconnaissance planes as well as several hundred ground troops, was the first such incursion by Turkish troops into Syria since the start of the civil war there nearly four years ago.Normally, the detachment is rotated every six months but the last one was trapped there for eight months by ISIS fighters.The Turkish government had informed the Syrian consulate in Istanbul about the operation but had not awaited Syria's agreement, it said, adding that the operation was a violation of the 1921 agreement.Davutoglu said about 100 military vehicles, including 39 tanks, were involved along with 572 military personnel including special forces commandos.Davutoglu had repeatedly said that Turkey would retaliate against any attack on the tomb, which was located 37 km (23 miles) from the Syrian border before being moved overnight.
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